6 Tips to Stop Your Cats from Destroying Your Furniture!
22 September, 2015
Our cats love to scratch anything and everything, especially as kittens. Cats scratch to remove the dead outer layer of their claws, mark their territory by leaving both a visual mark and a scent and to stretch their bodies and flex their feet and claws. Since declawing is not an option (and inhumane), below are six tips to help you keep your cat’s nails intact and prevent your furniture from being destroyed.
1. Figure out what your cat likes to scratch
Watch your kitties’ patterns and try to figure out what they like to claw. Most cats like a textured surface or anything they can really sink their claws into (like beds or couches), but each cat is different. Some cats scratch as they stand up against a vertical surface; others like to scratch on all fours and stick their butts up in the air for a good stretch. Once your figure out what your cat likes to scratch, you can then figure out a way to stop them.
2. Cover the areas where your cats like to scratch or use citrus!
Cats like texture so cover the areas where you don’t want your cats to scratch with things they will find unappealing on their paws, such as double-sided sticky tape, aluminum foil, sheets of sandpaper or a plastic carpet runner with the pointy side up. You don’t have to keep them up permanently but just in the early phases.
Many cats don’t like the odor of citrus or menthol so you can even put that smell on the above to double the effect. Orange oil on and around your furniture might just do the trick. Cats also dislike the flavor of citrus fruits, so you can use it to discourage them from chewing on things.
3. Scratching pads and rope are great distracting scratching posts
A sturdy rope-covered upright post, a flat scratch pad of corrugated cardboard, the back side of a piece of carpet are all different post and pads that your cat will like. A scratching object can be free-standing, flat on the floor, or hang from a doorknob, whatever your cat desires. Rub a little catnip onto the post or attach a toy to the top to make it even more attractive. You need to redirect the scratching to the correct place.
4. Place the posts in your cats’ favorite scratching places
Watch for which pieces of furniture your kitty has clawed and their locations. If it is always the chair you sit in most, locate a scratching post near it and maybe leave a piece of your laundry on the top for a while or use its top tray as a drop spot for personal items so that your cat sees it as part of your territorial marker, like your favorite chair. Cat trees are a great way to give your cats their own ‘homes’ where they can scratch and sit.
5. Try clapping to discourage your cat from scratching
Never hit your cat or yell at him or her; a simple “no” will do. If you do catch your cat shredding a “naughty spot,” interrupt your cat by making a loud noise (clap your hands, shake a can of pennies or pebbles, slap the wall) and redirect her scratching to one of the acceptable items. Do this consistently to teach her that your furniture is bad, your scratching post is good! And praise your cat with a nice rub down.
6. Trim your cat’s claws every few weeks
Indoor cats don’t wear down their claws as quickly as outdoors ones do so they can become overgrown. Untrimmed claws can grow into the cat’s pads, leading to infection, pain, and difficulty walking and using the litter box. Check your cat’s claws every couple of weeks to see if they need to be clipped. If it is too hard for you to clip them, a groomer can help. And, of course, the shorter the claws, the less likely they will scratch your furniture to get rid of their claws.
Keep your cat’s claws short, redirect your cat’s scratching to the correct posts and your furniture should remain intact!